Working papers

Investment Sensitivity to Inter-enterprises Payment Deadlines
Aissata Boubacar Moumouni

This paper investigates the determinants of firms investment financing constraints. Using an endogenous switching regression model on French Provence-Alpes Côte d'Azur region firms data collected between 2005-2014, we provide a novel evidence of the role of inter-enterprises payment deadlines which are days receivable outstanding and days payable outstanding, as factors determining rms investment nancing constraints. We also show that there is a non-negligible number of firms switching each year either from constrained regime to unconstrained regime or unconstrained regime to constrained one. By developing a model, we highlight the factors determining firms regime change.

Keywords: firms investment, inter-enterprises payment deadlines, endogenous switching regression model
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_38.pdf (499.84 KB)
Gender, information and the efficiency of household production decisions: An experiment in rural Togo
Marie Christine Apedo-Amah
Habiba Djebbari
Roberta Ziparo

Why do farm households inefficiently allocate resources across the plots they cultivate? We explore how these production inefficiencies relate to consumption decisions and information sharing within the household. In a lab-in-the-field experiment, male producers allocate too few inputs to their wife's plot, failing to maximize household aggregate profits. They do transfer more inputs when the returns from that plot are higher. Experimental manipulation of information on these returns triggers heterogeneous responses across households. We provide a theoretical framework that rationalizes these findings and further leads to sharp predictions. Joint contribution to a household public good compels spouses to make efficient production decisions. Only households who are in a separate-sphere regime experience inefficiency in farm production and are unable to effectively communicate on returns to avoid extra losses. Consistent with this framework, when we experimentally offer an ex post information verification mechanism, additional losses due to information asymmetries are prevented.

Keywords: farm households, household production and intra-household allocation, non-cooperative game theory, asymmetric and private information, lab-in-the-field experiment
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_37.pdf (655.27 KB)
Peer Effects in Networks: a Survey
Yann Bramoullé
Habiba Djebbari
Bernard Fortin

We survey the recent, fast-growing literature on peer effects in networks. An important recurring theme is that the causal identification of peer effects depends on the structure of the network itself. In the absence of correlated effects, the reflection problem is generally solved by network interactions even in non-linear, heterogeneous models. By contrast, microfounda-tions are generally not identified. We discuss and assess the various approaches developed by economists to account for correlated effects and network endogeneity in particular. We classify these approaches in four broad categories: random peers, random shocks, structural endogeneity and panel data. We review an emerging literature relaxing the assumption that the network is perfectly known. Throughout, we provide a critical reading of the existing literature and identify important gaps and directions for future research.

Keywords: social networks, peer effects, identification, causal effects, randomization, measurement errors
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_36.pdf (344.29 KB)
Managing a common-pool resource with no stock externality: The case of artesian aquifers
Hubert Stahn
Agnes Tomini

This paper studies a specific class of common-pool resources whereby rivalry is not characterized by competition for the resource stock. Artesian aquifers have been identified as a typical example, since the stock is never depleted, even when part of the resource is extracted. We first propose a dynamic model to account for relevant features of such aquifers-like water pressure, or well yield-and to characterize the corresponding dynamics. We then compare the social optimum and the private exploitation of an open-access aquifer. The comparison of these two equilibria allows us to highlight the existence of a new source of inefficiency. We refer to this as pressure externality. This externality results in the long run in an additional number of wells for the same water consumption, and hence additional costs. Finally, we characterize a specific stock-depend tax to neutralize the pressure externality.

Keywords: common-pool resource, externality, optimal management, public regulation, dynamic optimization
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_35.pdf (570.13 KB)
Looking for the "Best and Brightest": Hiring difficulties and high-skilled foreign workers
Morgan Raux

                                      This paper shows that firms' demand for high-skilled foreign workers partly results from their hiring difficulties. Relying on a within-firm identification strategy, I compare recruitment decisions made by a given employer for similar jobs differing in recruitment difficulties. I quantify how the time to fill a vacancy affects the employer's probability to look for recruiting a foreign worker. To identify this relationship, I have collected and assembled a new and original dataset at the job level. It matches online job postings to administrative data on H-1B visas applications in the US. I find that a standard deviation increase in job posting duration increases employers' probability to look for a foreign worker by 1.5 percentage points. This effect is mainly driven by firms sending only a few visa applications. It increases to 3 to 4 percentage points for architects, engineers and computer scientists.

Keywords: H-1B work permit, hiring difficulties, web scraping
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_34.pdf (1.17 MB)
Instruments of Debtstruction: Public Debt Management and Networks during the Interwar Period
Nicolas End
Marina Marinkov
Fedor Miryugin

We construct a new, comprehensive instrument-level database of sovereign debt for 18 advanced and emerging countries during 1913–46, an eventful period characterized by notoriously high debt levels. This database is thus the first to provide public debt time series with such a high degree of comparability across countries and time. Documentation of qualitative instrument characteristics offers unique insights about the debt management policies that were implemented and the broader policies they helped finance. We document how interwar governments rolled over debts that were largely unsustainable and how the external public debt network contributed to the collapse of the international financial system in the early 1930s.

Keywords: economic history, debt policy, public finance, macroeconomics
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_33.pdf (7.7 MB)
Quantitative Easing and the Term Premium as a Monetary Policy Instrument
Etienne Vaccaro-Grange

The transmission of Quantitative Easing to aggregate macroeconomic variables through the yield curve is disentangled in two yield channels: the term premium channel, captured by a term premium series, and the signaling channel, that corresponds to the interest rate expectations counterpart. Both yield components are extracted from a term structure model and plugged into a Structural VAR with Euro Area macroeconomic variables in which shocks are identified using sign restrictions. With this set-up, I show how the central bank can use the term premium as a single monetary policy instrument to foster output and prices. However, I also show that there has been a cost channel in the transmission of QE to inflation between 2015 and 2017. This cost channel provides a new explanation as to why inflation has been so muted during this period, despite the easing monetary environment. Finally, a policy rule for the term premium is estimated.

Keywords: quantitative easing, shadow-rate term structure model, BVAR, sign restrictions
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_32.pdf (3.68 MB)
A Theory of Cultural Revivals
Murat Iyigun
Jared Rubin
Avner Seror

Why do some societies fail to adopt more efficient institutions? And why do such failures often coincide with cultural movements that glorify the past? We propose a model highlighting the interplay—or lack thereof—between institutional change and cultural beliefs. The main insight is that institutional change by itself will not lead to a more efficient economy unless culture evolves in tandem. This is because institutional change can be countered by changes in cultural values complementary to a more "traditional" economy. In our model, forward-looking elites, who benefit from a traditional, inefficient economy, may over-provide public goods that are complementary to the production of traditional goods. This encourages individuals to transmit cultural beliefs complementary to the provision of traditional goods. A horse race results between institutions, which evolve towards a more efficient (less traditional) economy, and cultural norms, which are pulled towards "tradition" by the elites. When culture wins the horse race, institutions respond by giving more political power to traditional elites—even if in doing so more efficient institutions are left behind. We call the interaction between these cultural and institutional dynamics a cultural revival.

Keywords: institutions, cultural beliefs, cultural transmission, institutional change
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_31.pdf (587.52 KB)
Bread and Social Justice: Measurement of Social Welfare and Inequalities Using Anthropometrics
Mohammad Abu-Zaineh
Ramses H. Abul Naga

We address the question of the measurement of pure health inequalities and achievement in the context of welfare decreasing variables. We adopt a general framework whereby the health variable is reported on an interval, from an optimum level to a critical survival threshold. There are two problems that require some departures from the usual framework used to measure inequality and social welfare. Firstly, we show that for welfare decreasing variables, the equally distributed equivalent value is decreasing in progressive transfers (instead of being increasing). Accordingly, appropriate achievement and inequality indices for welfare decreasing variables are introduced. Secondly, because the Lorenz curve and the associated inequality indices are not robust to alternative values of the survival threshold, we argue that the family of translation invariant social welfare functions and related absolute Lorenz curve allow us to undertake inequality comparisons between distributions that are robust to the chosen level of the survival threshold. An illustrative application of the methodology is provided.

Keywords: health achievement and inequality; welfare decreasing variables; survival thresholds; relative and absolute Lorenz curves.
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_30.pdf (1.06 MB)
Public finance sustainability in Europe: a behavioral model
Gilles Dufrénot
Carolina Ulloa Suarez

This paper investigates the sustainability of public finances in the European countries since 2002. We provide evidence of heterogenous behaviors among the EU countries and show that, even if they had been forced to focus their fiscal efforts on correcting the deviations of debt from their ceiling -through a correcting mechanism such as the recent TSCG rule-, this would not necessarily have changed the likelihood that debt and deficits become more sustainable. Sources of deviations from stable debt and deficits are related to the macroeconomic environment: the interest-growth differential, momentum dynamics in the sovereign bond markets, how markets react to rising debt.

Keywords: fiscal rules, euro area, quantile regression, stability
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_29.pdf (1011.45 KB)
Age At Parents' Separation And Children Achievement: Evidence From France Using A Sibling Approach
Hélène Le Forner

This paper investigates the link between parental separation and children's achievement in their adulthood. Using a French dataset "Education-Training-Employment", the differences in age of the children at divorce, within a family, are examined in order to control for divorced families selection. The main interest of the paper lies in three particular outcomes : the number of years of schooling, earnings-weighted education, and social position. The results show that individuals whose parents separated have about one semester of schooling less than the children of non-divorced families, they also have lower quality of education and lower social position associated with wages from 4% to 9% lower than individuals who grew up with their two parents. All these estimated effects remain negative and significant within the family. Parental separation is more harmful for boys, or for individuals whose mother is less highly educated.

Keywords: education, divorce, family economics, family structure, marital dissolution
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_28.pdf (1.24 MB)
Particularism, dominant minorities and institutional change
Raouf Boucekkine
Rodolphe Desbordes
Paolo Melindi-Ghidi

We develop a theory of institutional transition from dictatorship to minority dominant-based regimes. We depart from the standard political transition framework à la Acemoglu-Robinson in four essential ways: (i) population is heterogeneous, there is a minority/majority split, heterogeneity being generic, simply reflecting subgroup size; (ii) there is no median voter in the post-dictatorship period, political and economic competition is favorable to the minority (fiscal particularism); (iii) (windfall) resources are introduced, and (iv) we distinguish between labor income and resources, and labor supply is endogenous. We first document empirically fiscal particularism, its connection with resource endowment, and the impact of both on revolutionary bursts. Second, we construct a full-fledged model incorporating the four characteristics outlined above. We show, among others, that polarization is a sufficient condition for revolutions, while resource rents are not: they do matter though when polarization is low. In agreement with our empirical facts, countries engaging in revolutions tend to be slightly less resource-rich than other countries. We also outline the interplay between resource rents, polarization and labor market conditions at the dawn of institutional change. Our theory is appropriate to understand the institutional dynamics in highly homogeneous resource-rich countries, which after post-independence autocratic regimes, turn to be dominated by minorities, Algeria being the paradigmatic case.

Keywords: political transition, minority/majority, fiscal particularism, dominant minority, resources, labor market
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_27.pdf (773.76 KB)
A spatiotemporal framework for the analytical study of optimal growth under transboundary pollution
Raouf Boucekkine
Giorgio Fabbri
Salvatore Federico
Fausto Gozzi

We construct a spatiotemporal frame for the study of optimal growth under transboundary pollution. Space is continuous and polluting emissions originate in the intensity of use of the production input. Pollution flows across locations following a diffusion process. The objective functional of the economy is to set the optimal production policy over time and space to maximize welfare from consumption, taking into account a negative local pollution externality and the diffusive nature of pollution. Our framework allows for space and time dependent preferences and productivity, and does not restrict diffusion speed to be space-independent. This provides a comprehensive setting to analyze pollution diffusion with a close account of geographic heterogeneity. The involved optimization problem is infinite-dimensional. We propose an alternative method for an analytical characterization of the optimal paths and the asymptotic spatial distributions. The method builds on a deep economic concept of pollution spatiotemporal welfare effect, which makes it definitely useful for economic analysis.

Keywords: optimal growth, spatiotemporal modelling, transboundary pollution, infinite dimensional optimal control
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_26.pdf (539.88 KB)
Pollution in a globalized world: Are debt transfers among countries a solution?
Marion Davin
Mouez Fodha
Thomas Seegmuller

 This article analyzes the impacts of debt relief on production and pollution. We develop at wo-country overlapping generations model with environmental externalities, public debts and perfect mobility of assets. Pollutant emissions arise from production, but agents may invest in pollution mitigation. Could debt relief be an efficient tool to encourage less developed countries to engage in the fight against climate change? We consider a decrease of the debt of the poor country balanced by an increase of the richer country’s debt. We show that debt relief makes it possible to engage poor countries in the process of pollution abatement. Capital, environmental quality and welfare can increase in both countries. This result relies on the environmental sensitivity and the discount factor in the poor country relative to the rich one: the greater they are the more beneficial the debt relief is.

Keywords: pollution; abatement; overlapping generations; public debt; capital market integration
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_25.pdf (1.32 MB)
Human Development, Social Interactions, and Identity Formation
Avner Seror

This paper presents a general theory of child development that incorporates interactive learning and identity formation in social interactions with caregivers. The model sheds light on many puzzling aspects of child development. Child learning responds nonmonotonically to caregivers' attention and approval in social interactions. I highlight key parental characteristics associated with child learning, and identity formation. The theory also explains why media devices widen human inequality. Lessons are finally drawn for the design of policies that alleviate human inequality.

Keywords: human development, human inequality, social interactions, identity, parenting, learning, intergenerational transmission, media
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_24.pdf (677.44 KB)
Contribution to a Public Good under Subjective Uncertainty
Anwesha Banerjee
Nicolas Gravel

This paper examines how voluntary contributions to a public good are affected by the contributors' heterogeneity in beliefs about the uncertain impact of their contributions. It assumes that contributors have Savagian preferences that are represented by a two-state-dependent expected utility function and different beliefs about the benefit that will result from the sum of their contributions. We establish general comparative statics results regarding the effect of specific changes in the distribution of beliefs on the (unique) Nash equilibrium provision of the public good, under certain conditions imposed on the preferences. We specifically show that the equilibrium public good provision is increasing with respect to both first and second order stochastic dominance changes in the distribution of beliefs. Hence, increasing the contributors' optimism about the uncertain benefit of their contributions increases aggregate public good provision provision, as does any homogenization of these beliefs around their mean.

Keywords: voluntary provision, public good, uncertainty, beliefs, optimism, consensus
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_23.pdf (646.8 KB)
Evaluating Education Systems
Nicolas Gravel
Edward Levavasseur
Patrick Moyes

This paper proposes two dominance criteria for evaluating education systems described as joint distributions of the pupils' cognitive skill achievements and family backgrounds. The first criterion is shown to be the smallest transitive ranking of education systems compatible with three elementary principles. The first principle requires any improvement in the cog-nitive skill of a child with a given family background to be recorded favorably. The second principle demands that any child's cognitive skill be all the more favorably appraised as the child is coming from an unfavorable background. The third principle states that when two different skills and family backgrounds are allocated between two children, it is preferable that the high skill be given to the low background child than the other way around. The criterion considers system A to be better than system B when, for every pair of reference background and skill, the fraction of children with both a lower background and a better skill than the reference is larger in A than in B. Our second criterion completes the first by adding to the three principles the elitist requirement that a mean-preserving spread in the skills of two children with the same background be recorded favorably. We apply our criteria to the ranking of education systems of 43 countries, taking the PISA score in mathematics as the measure of cognitive skills and the largest of the two parents International Socio Economic Index as the indicator of background. We show that, albeit incomplete, our criteria enables conclusive comparisons of about 19% of all the possible pairs of countries. Education systems of fast-growing Asian economies-in particular Vietnam-appear at the top of our rankings while those of relatively wealthy arabic countries such as Lebanon, United Arab Emirates and Jordan are at the bottom. The fraction of countries that can be ranked successfully happens to be only mildly increased as a result of adding elitism to the three other principles.

Keywords: education, Inequality, family background, opportunities, dominance, math scores, international comparisons
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_22.pdf (1.17 MB)
Is the preference of the majority representative?
Mihir Bhattacharya
Nicolas Gravel

Given a profile of preferences on a set of alternatives, a majoritarian relation is a complete binary relation that agrees with the strict preference of a strict majority of these preferences whenever such strict strict majority is observed. We show that a majoritarian relation is, among all conceivable binary relations, the most representative of the profile of preferences from which it emanates. We define "the most representative" to mean "the closest in the aggregate". This requires a definition of what it means for a pair of preferences to be closer to each other then another. We assume that this definition takes the form of a distance function defined over the set of all conceivable preferences. We identify a necessary and sufficient condition for such a distance to be minimized by a majoritarian relation. This condition requires the distance to be additive with respect to a plausible notion of compromise between preferences. The well-known Kemeny distance between preferences does satisfy this property. We also provide a characterization of the class of distances satisfying this property as numerical representations of a primitive qualitative proximity relation between preferences.

Keywords: preferences, majority, dissimilarity, distance, aggregation
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_21.pdf (446.02 KB)
Linear Quantile Regression and Endogeneity Correction
Christophe Muller

The main two methods of endogeneity correction for linear quantile regressions with their advantages and drawbacks are reviewed and compared. Then, we discuss opportunities of alleviating the constant effect restriction of the fitted-value approach by relaxing identification conditions.

Keywords: two-stage estimation, quantile regression, fitted-value approach, endogeneity
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_20.pdf (297.3 KB)
Production Network and International Fiscal Spillovers
Michael B. Devereux
Karine Gente
Changhua Yu

This paper analyzes the impact of fiscal spending shocks in a multi-country model with international production networks. In contrast to standard results suggesting that production network linkages are unimportant for the aggregate response to macro shocks in a closed economy, we show that network structures may place a central role in the international propagation of fiscal shocks, particularly when wages are slow to adjust. The paper first develops a simple general equilibrium multi-country model and derives some analytical results on the response to fiscal spending shocks. We then apply the model to an analysis of fiscal spillovers in the Eurozone, using the calibrated sectoral network structure from the World Input Output Database (WIOD). In a version of the model with sticky wages, we find that fiscal spillovers from Germany and some other large Eurozone countries may be large, and within the range of empirical estimates. More importantly, we find that the Eurozone production network is very important for the international spillovers. In the absence of international production network linkages, spillovers would be only a third as large as predicted by the baseline model. Finally, we explore the diffusion of identified German government spending at the sectoral level, both within and across countries. We find that government expenditures have both significant upstream and downstream effects when these links are measured by the direction of sectoral production linkages.

Keywords: production network, fiscal policy, spillovers, Eurozone, terms of trade, nominal rigidities
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_19.pdf (2.95 MB)
Transitory and Permanent Shocks in the Global Market for Crude Oil
Nooman Rebei
Rashid Sbia

This paper documents the determinants of real oil price in the global market based on SVAR model embedding transitory and permanent shocks on oil demand and supply as well as speculative disturbances. We find evidence of significant differences in the propagation mechanisms of transitory versus permanent shocks, pointing to the importance of disentangling their distinct effects. Permanent supply disruptions turn out to be a bigger factor in historical oil price movements during the most recent decades, while speculative shocks became less influential.

Keywords: oil market, vector autoregressions, narrative analysis, Bayesian estimation, Kalman filtering
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_18.pdf (1.8 MB)
How Do Agro-Pastoral Policies Affect the Dietary Intake of Agro-Pastoralists? Evidence from Niger
Christophe Muller
Nouréini Sayouti

Agricultural policies in poor rural developing countries typically aim at improving household nutrition by raising households’ agricultural profit and presumably their dietary intake as a consequence. However, it is not clear how much of the impact of these policies goes through profit in practice. If the proportion is large, this would confirm the policy orientation and direct the attention of policy makers toward the different financial incentives. Even full activity substitution may occur, which may transform households’ lifestyles and access to nutrient sources and thereby affect their nutrition. If, in contrast, the policy impact does not go through profit, then the policy perspective should be adjusted, and a thorough examination and monitoring of its other channels of influence should be undertaken.
Using statistical mediation analysis, we investigate the mechanisms underlying the effect of agricultural policies directed toward pastoralist households on their dietary intake in terms of these direct and indirect (through profit) effects. Based on an agro-pastoral survey conducted in Niger in 2016, the effects of extension services associated with better access to markets are found to be channeled mostly through pastoral profits, while this is not the case for private veterinary services and low-cost livestock feed programs. Extension services may foster specialization in cattle and sheep raising, which incentivizes households to switch toward a nomadic lifestyle and limits their access to cereals, a valuable source of calories. As a result, extension services are found to damage their calorie intake.

Keywords: agropastoral policies, mediation analysis, agricultural household models, Niger
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_17.pdf (1.11 MB), PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_17v2.pdf (1.14 MB)
Étude de la démographie française du XIXe siècle à partir de données collaboratives de généalogie
Arthur Charpentier
Ewen Gallic

A l'ère du numérique, les données peuvent être collectées massivement, de manière collaborative et à moindre coût. Les sites de généalogie fleurissent sur Internet pour proposer à leurs utilisateurs de reconstituer en ligne leur arbre généalogique. Le travail de collecte et de saisie effectué par ces utilisateurs peut potentiellement être réutilisé en démographie historique pour compléter la connaissance du passé de nos ancêtres. Dans notre étude, utilisons les enregistrements concernant 2 457 450 individus français ou d'origine française ayant vécu au XIX e siècle. Dans un premier temps, nous étudions la qualité de ces données. Nous mettons en évidence la présence de biais importants, notamment concernant le genre des individus. Les femmes sont sous-représentées dans les données comparativement aux hommes. Des biais relatifs à la fécondité sont également observés. En dépit de ces limites dont souffrent les données collaboratives de généalogie, nous montrons dans un deuxième temps qu'il est possible de retrouver des résultats connus dans la littérature en démographie historique. Plus particulièrement, nous exploitons les dates de naissance et de décès afin d'examiner la mortalité des individus présents dans la base de données. Nous exploitons également la richesse des caractéristiques spatiales contenues dans les arbres généalogiques pour analyser les migrations internes en France.

Keywords: généalogie, données collaboratives, longévité, migration, XIXe siècle, R
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_16.pdf (1.85 MB)
Weather Shocks
Ewen Gallic
Gauthier Vermandel

How much do weather shocks matter? The literature addresses this question in two isolated ways: either by looking at long-term effects through the prism of theoretical models, or by focusing on short-term effects using empirical analysis. We propose a framework to bring together both the short and long-term effects through the lens of an estimated DSGE model with a weather-dependent agricultural sector. The model is estimated using Bayesian methods and quarterly data for New Zealand using the weather as an observable variable. In the short-run, our analysis underlines the key role of weather as a driver of business cycles over the sample period. An adverse weather shock generates a recession, boosts the non-agricultural sector and entails a domestic currency depreciation. Taking a long-term perspective, a welfare analysis reveals that weather shocks are not a free lunch: the welfare cost of weather is currently estimated at 0.19% of permanent consumption. Climate change critically increases the variability of key macroeconomic variables (such as GDP, agricultural output or the real exchange rate) resulting in a higher welfare cost peaking to 0.29% in the worst case scenario.

Keywords: agriculture, business cycles, climate change, weather shocks
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_15.pdf (2.21 MB)
The Effect of Aspirations on Inequality: Evidence from the German Reunification using Bayesian Growth Incidence Curves
Edwin Fourrier-Nicolai
Michel Lubrano

A long-standing literature has investigated the formation of aspirations and how they shape human behaviours but a recent interest has been devoted on the interplay between aspirations and inequality. Because aspirations are socially determined, household investment decisions tend to be reproduced according to the social context which fosters inequality to persist. We empirically examine the role of aspirations on inequality using a natural experiment. We exploit an exogenous variation of social aspirations determined by the exposure to Western German TV broadcasts in the GDR before the reunification. We measure the treatment effect on wage inequality by comparing inequality changes between the treatment and the control regions after reunification. We use an heteroskedastic parametric model for income with a treatment effect and sample selection into the labour market. We derive analytical formulae for the growth incidence curve of Ravallion and Chen (2003) and poverty growth curve of Son (2004) for the log-normal distribution. Based on those curves, we provide Bayesian inference and a set of tests related to stochastic dominance criteria. We find evidences that aspirations-through exposure to Western German broadcasts-have significantly affected inequality. We find that this effect was detrimental in terms of inequality and poverty. However, we cannot conclude about the persistence of the effect after 1995.

Keywords: Inequality, social aspirations, Bayesian inference, treatment effect
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_14.pdf (777.05 KB)
Does International Financial Integration Increase the Standard of Living in Africa? A Frontier Approach
Gilles Dufrénot
Kimiko Sugimoto

We investigate whether a higher financial integration with the rest of the world can help the African countries reduce their production inefficiency and/or push up their efficient frontier of production. We use two alternative empirical approaches based, respectively, on a stochastic frontier analysis and quantile regressions. We provide evidence of heterogeneous situations across countries and time. This paper proposes a new approach for defining, at the aggregate level, a link between financial openness and production efficiency. We show that one size does not fit all: international financial integration can increase or decrease African countries' standard of living.

Keywords: African countries, financial openness, stochastic frontier, quantile regression
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_13.pdf (1.56 MB)
Potential Growth and Natural Yield Curve in Japan
Gilles Dufrénot
Meryem Rhouzlane
Etienne Vaccaro-Grange

We estimate the yield curve gap in Japan and examine whether it has contributed to the sustained low growth and low inflation rates observed since the beginning 2000s. We use a semi-structural empirical model that generalizes Laubach and Williams’ approach, considering the entire range of maturities of the interest rates and dealing with the issue of mixed frequency sampling. We consider global factors exerting downward pressures on inflation and examine how the neutral yield curve has affected the snowball effect in the dynamics of the Japanese public debt ratio.

Keywords: yield curve, potential growth, state-space model, Japan
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_12.pdf (3.09 MB)
Age Discontinuity and Nonemployment Benefit Policy Evaluation through the Lens of Job Search Theory
Bruno Decreuse
Guillaume Wilemme

A recent strand of papers use sharp regression discontinuity designs (RDD) based on age discontinuity to study the impacts of minimum income and unemployment insurance benefit extension policies. This design challenges job search theory, which predicts that such RDD estimates are biased. Owing to market frictions, people below the age threshold account for future eligibility to the policy. This progressively affects their search outcomes as they get closer to entitlement. Comparing them to eligible people leads to biased estimates because both groups of workers are actually treated. We provide a nonstationary job search model and quantify the theoretical biases on the datasets used in the literature. Our results suggest that the employment impact of minimum income policies are (significantly) under-estimated, whereas the impacts of benefit extensions on nonemployment duration are (not significantly) over-estimated.

Keywords: RDD, age discontinuity, nonstationary job search theory
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_11.pdf (1.75 MB)
French GPs’ Willingness to Delegate Tasks: May Financial Incentives Balance Risk Aversion?
Jean-Baptiste Simon Combes
Alain Paraponaris
Yann Videau

Delegating tasks to paramedics is a fairly recent development in France. So far it has essentially been developed in hospitals and is incipient in general practice. This paper focuses on the willingness of general practitioner to do so. A 2012 survey of 2,000 GPs might help anticipate GPs’ willingness to delegate. This paper tests whether a more favourable funding system might help increase GP willingness. We implement a quasi-experimental design wherein GPs are randomly selected to form three groups of equal size, each of them being exposed to a different funding scheme when declaring their willingness to delegate tasks to nurses: Fully Funded (FF) by the social security administration, self-funded by GPs’ revenues (Self-Funded, SF) and half-funded by both the social security administration and GPs (Half-Funded, HF). GPs’ likelihood to favour task delegation is estimated with a probit model that especially considers a GP’s attitude towards risk (aversion or tolerance) among a set of covariates, such as age, gender, rural/urban area, GP density and funding scheme. This article shows that, first, GPs are more likely to favour delegation, when they share a lower proportion of the cost. Second, the effect of risk aversion on the likelihood of favouring delegation is not altered by the funding scheme.

Keywords: skill mix, task shifting, risk aversion, financial incentives
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_10.pdf (680.37 KB)
Haggling on Values: Towards Consensus or Trouble
Victorien Barbet
Noé Guiraud
Vincent Laperrière
Juliette Rouchier

We present a model showing the evolution of an organization of agents who discuss democratically about good practices. This model feeds on a field study we did for a few years in France where we followed Non Profit Organizations, called AMAP (a french short food chain), and observed their construction through time at the regional and national level. Most of the hypothesis we make are here either based on the literature on opinion diffusion or on the results of our field study. By defining dynamics where agents influence each other, make collective decision at the group level, and decide to stay in or leave their respective groups, we analyse the effect of different parameters, like size of organizations, on the stability and representativeness of these organizations. The models proves to be robust and we believe is easy to adapt to other context than AMAP. Moreover the article highlights the tension that exists between stability and representativeness in democratic organizations, along with the negative effect of increasing the number of topics to discuss and the positive effect of having openminded members.

Keywords: democracy, organizations, opinion dynamics, agent based modeling
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_09.pdf (769.06 KB)
Risky Working Conditions: An Immigrant Trap or an Income Effect?
Eva Moreno-Galbis

Immigrants’ income has been proved to converge to the average native income level with years of residence in the host country. This income assimilation effect is surprisingly not associated with a health improvement. Some emerging studies point towards the role of working conditions as a driver of the counterfactual relation between immigrants’ health and income. Using French data, we first show that, consistently with Viscusi (1978), working conditions are a normal good. An increase in 10% in non-earned income is associated with a decrease by 0.85% in professional injuries and by more than 3.2% in disabilities induced by professional illnesses. Second, we find that while immigrants bear in average worse working conditions than natives, this divergence results from an income divergence effect since for an equivalent non-earned income level there are no significant differences in working conditions between natives and immigrants. Income assimilation of immigrants is associated with an assimilation in working conditions. We conclude then that bad working conditions cannot be blamed for the degradation of immigrants’ health with years of residence in the host country.

Keywords: immigrants, working conditions, income
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“Whatever it Takes” to Change Belief: Evidence from Twitter
Michael Stiefel
Rémi Vivès

The sovereign debt literature emphasizes the possibility of avoiding a self-fulfilling default crisis if markets anticipate the central bank to act as lender of last resort. This paper investigates the extent to which changes in belief about an intervention of the European Central Bank (ECB) explain the sudden reduction of government bond spreads for the distressed countries in summer 2012. We study Twitter data and extract belief using machine learning techniques. We find evidence of strong increases in the perceived likelihood of ECB intervention and show that those increases explain subsequent decreases in the bond spreads of the distressed countries.

Keywords: self-fulfilling default crisis, unconventional monetary policy, Twitter data
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Social Divisiveness and Conflicts: Grievances Matter!
Raouf Boucekkine
Rodolphe Desbordes
Paolo Melindi-Ghidi

Somehow paradoxically, it is common for research on the determinants of civil wars to conclude that social factors matter much less, if at all, than economic factors. We contribute to this debate by conducting an original empirical analysis in which we investigate whether the deliberate unequal treatment of groups of people by a government can give rise to movements opposing the current political system. In doing so, we significantly innovate on the existing literature exploring the links between grievances and civil war. We look at all forms of social conflict, violent and non-violent, high and low intensity. Our index of social divisiveness captures multiple dimensions of observed unequal group treatments and is not restricted to latent ethnic divisions. We control for time-invariant factors in a large sample of countries over a long period of time. We take into account measurement uncertainty, dynamics, cross-region heterogeneity, localised spatial effects, non-linearity of effects, and a potential endogeneity bias. Our results show that social divisiveness has a large, positive, and statistically significant robust effect on anti-system opposition. It also appears to be the main channel through which long-lasting ethnic polarisation influences the onset of civil wars.

Keywords: civil resistance, civil war, grievances, social conflict, social divisiveness
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“If You Were Me”: Proxy Respondents’ Biases in Population Health Surveys
Bérengère Davin
Xavier Joutard
Alain Paraponaris

Proxy respondents are widely used in population health surveys to maximize response rates. When surveys target frail elderly, the measurement error is expected to be smaller than selection or participation biases. However, in the literature on elderly needs for care, proxy use is most often considered with a dummy variable in which endogeneity with subjects’ health status is rarely scrutinised in a robust way. Pitfalls of this choice extend beyond methodological issues. Indeed, the mismeasurement of needs for care with daily activities might lead to irrelevant social policies or to private initiatives that try to address those needs. This paper proposes a comprehensive and tractable strategy supported by various robustness checks to cope with the suspected endogeneity of proxy use to the unobserved health status of subjects in reports of needs for care with activities of daily living. Proxy respondents’ subjectivity is found to inflate the needs of the elderly who are replaced or assisted in answering the questionnaire and to deflate the probability of unmet or undermet needs.

Keywords: proxy respondent, measurement bias, endogeneity, selection, Copula, needs for care, ADLs, IADLs
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An Operationalizing Theoretical Framework for the Analysis of Universal Health Coverage Reforms: First Test on an Archetype Developing Economy
Sameera Awawda
Mohammad Abu-Zaineh

This paper presents an operationalizing theoretical framework to analyze the potential effects of universal health coverage (UHC) using dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model. The DSGE encapsulates a set of heterogeneous households that optimize their intertemporal utility of consumption, health capital, and leisure. The model is calibrated to capture the salient features of an archetype developing economy. The model is, then, used to simulate alternative UHC-financing policies. The theoretical framework we propose can be easily adapted to assess the implementation of UHC in a particular developing country setting. When applied to a hypothetical country, results show that the implementation of UHC can indeed improve access to healthcare for the population while offering households financial protection against future uncertainty. However, the degree of financial risk protection appears to vary across heterogeneous households and UHC-financing policies, depending on the associated benefits and the additional burden borne by each group.

Keywords: universal health coverage, financial risk protection, dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model, developing countries
Social Shock Sharing and Stochastic Dominance
Christophe Muller

Since the seminal paper of Atkinson and Bourguignon (1982), little decisive progress has been achieved in developing empirically efficient stochastic dominance criteria for multidimensional social welfare analysis. By proposing new axioms of 'Social Shock Sharing', this paper provides new intuitive justifications to imposing sign restrictions on partial derivatives of individual von Neumann-Morgenstern utility functions. These new breakthrough findings are exploited to derive necessary and sufficient stochastic dominance criteria for multidimensional social welfare comparisons, up to the sixth order, at least. Equivalent results are derived in terms of multidimensional poverty conditions. Empirically powerful discriminatory criteria are obtained by combining all social shock sharing axioms up to some high order and by deriving a dimension reduction property. An application to Egypt at the beginning of the XXIst century demonstrates the practical substantial gain in discriminating power of the approach by revealing a unambiguous continual improvement in bivariate income-education social welfare over the studied period.

Keywords: multidimensional welfare, stochastic dominance, temperance, risk sharing
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Distributed Optimal Control Models in Environmental Economics: A Review
Emmanuelle Augeraud-Véron
Raouf Boucekkine
Vladimir Veliov

We review the most recent advances in distributed optimal control applied to environmental economics, covering in particular problems where the state dynamics are governed by partial differential equations (PDEs). This is a quite fresh application area of distributed optimal control, which has already suggested several new mathematical research lines due to the specificities of the environmental economics problems involved. We enhance the latter through a survey of the variety of themes and associated mathematical structures beared by this literature. We also provide a quick tour of the existing tools in the theory of distributed optimal control that have been applied so far in environmental economics

Keywords: environmental economics, distributed systems, optimal control, partial differential equations
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Top Income Tax Evasion and Redistribution Preferences: Evidence from the Panama Papers
Laila Ait Bihi Ouali

This paper provides empirical evidence that, after fiscal scandals, individuals substantially revise their views on redistribution. I exploit as a quasi-natural experiment the 2016 Panama Papers scandal which revealed top-income tax evasion behaviour simultaneously worldwide. The empirical investigation relies on two original sources of data: a longitudinal dataset on United Kingdom households and a survey conducted in twenty-two European countries. Using a difference-in-differences strategy, I find an increase in pro-redistribution statements post-scandal ranging between 2% and 3.3%. Responses are heterogeneous on income levels and on political affiliations, with larger responses from right-wing individuals. The change in redistribution preferences is moderately translated into votes: I find an increase in voting intentions for the left and negative for the right-wing parties. Complementary estimations at the European-level indicate that pro-redistribution responses increase with media coverage and shock intensity (i.e., number of individuals involved).

Keywords: Panama Papers, Tax evasion, tax avoidance, Redistribution, tax morale, Inequality, mass media
Download PDF icon wp_2019_-_nr_01.pdf (1.72 MB)